[Grant Proposal] Atom (A DeSci startup making it easier for scientists to access funding)

1. Title

2. Description
Atom is a DeSci startup aiming to accelerate scientific research using decentralized funding mechanisms. The current system of funding research is often biased, non-transparent, and inefficient with regards to allocating funds. Atom is utilizing quadratic funding, NFT drops, and other blockchain-powered models to identify and fund the most impactful research projects while simultaneously reducing the time researchers spend on grant applications.

3. Manifesto/Vision
Make it easier for scientists to access funding for the research they care about most.

4. Problem
Nearly $800 billion dollars was allocated to R&D in the US last year. With innovation per dollar falling across many fields in science, researchers spending up to 50% of their time on grants applications, and decisions being made by small, biased and opaque groups the scientific funding landscape is seriously broken leading to inefficient allocation of funds and stifled innovation.

5. Solution
At Atom, our solution is built on blockchain-powered funding models and strategic partnerships to address the systemic issues in scientific research funding. By utilising quadratic funding, we ensure that research projects with widespread support receive the necessary resources, free from bias and red tape typically associated with traditional funding sources. Our NFT drops, in collaboration with leading scientific figures, help generate funds for matching pools while raising awareness for crucial research projects. Additionally, Atom’s AI-driven grant matching system connects researchers with relevant traditional funding opportunities, streamlining the grant application process and allowing researchers to focus on their work.

6. Product
A revolutionary platform designed to transform the way scientific research is funded, by leveraging the power of blockchain technology and decentralized funding mechanisms. Our platform offers a transparent, efficient, and unbiased approach to funding allocation, helping researchers focus on what truly matters – their work.

Key Features:

  • Quadratic Funding: Atom’s quadratic funding algorithm enables a more equitable distribution of funds by rewarding projects with a broad base of support. This ensures that the most impactful and community-driven research projects receive adequate funding, rather than just the ones with the largest individual backers.
  • NFT Drops and Partnerships: By collaborating with renowned scientific figures and organizations, Atom will create exclusive NFT drops to generate funds for our matching pools. These NFTs will not only serve as collectibles but also as unique ways to support scientific research.
  • Smart Grant Matching: Our advanced AI-driven grant matching system connects researchers with traditional funding opportunities that align with their projects. By automating this process, we significantly reduce the time spent on grant applications, allowing researchers to dedicate more time to their work.
  • Incentivized Crowdfunding: Atom encourages public participation in research funding through a unique incentivized crowdfunding model. Donors receive NFT-based rewards, while hypercerts provide a transparent and verifiable record of their contributions. This creates a positive feedback loop that drives more funding towards innovative research.

7. Validation

  • Customer discovery conversations with many researchers, grant administrators, and Deans have validated the pain points detailed above
  • We have our first public scientist ready to launch their open edition NFT project

8. Progress

  1. Partnership with Gitcoin to launch MVP on top of Allo protocol
  2. Building pipeline for funding Alpha round matching pools in late spring, first NFT drop expected in April
  3. We are currently working with underfunded LATAM based researchers on applying to the current Gitcoin DeSci round as a POC and prepare the first projects for funding in our upcoming Alpha round

9. Differentiation

  1. Industry-Specific Focus: Unlike generic crowdsourcing platforms, Atom is specifically tailored for scientific research funding. This focus allows us to better understand the needs and challenges of researchers and develop innovative solutions to address them.
  2. Smart Grant Matching: Our AI-driven grant matching system connects researchers with relevant traditional funding opportunities, reducing the time spent on grant applications and increasing the likelihood of securing funds.
  3. Incentivized Crowdfunding with NFTs and Hypercerts: Atom’s unique incentive model rewards donors with NFT-based rewards, creating a positive feedback loop and driving more funding towards research projects. Additionally, hypercerts provide a transparent and verifiable record of donations, promoting trust and accountability.
  4. Community-Driven Approach: By utilizing a community-driven approach to funding allocation, Atom ensures that research projects with broad support receive the necessary resources, fostering innovation and collaboration in the scientific community.
  5. Strategic Partnerships and NFT Drops: Atom collaborates with leading scientific figures and organizations to generate funds through exclusive NFT drops. These partnerships not only provide a unique funding source but also raise awareness for important research projects.

10. Team
As former scientists who transitioned from research into web3, DeSci falls the intersection of our passions.

Hamilton Evans (CTO): After launching a sellout NFT project while pursuing his chemistry PhD at Caltech, Hamilton dropped out with a Masters to join a web3 startup. There he lead the development team, writing smart contracts responsible for over 50 thousand unique mints.

Tomer du Sautoy (CEO): Tomer obtained a Masters in physics, going on to lead the blockchain team at an early-stage web3 startup, helping to scale their revenue by 100x in a year while onboarding traditional artists into web3.

11. Grant Request $
$5,000 USD

12. Funds
The grant will go toward hiring a grants coordinator for LATAM research projects over the next 3 months leading up to our Alpha round
Goal: 2-5 LATAM research projects funded using QF rounds

13. Help
We are both full time on Atom but need help sourcing matching pools funds and researchers that could benefit from rapid funding. If you are in the world of academia in any way please reach out as we would love to chat. We are also looking for advisors from traditional academia and the newer field of DeSci.

14. Additional Resources
Website: https://atomprotocol.xyz
Newsletter: https://atom.beehiiv.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/atomprotocol_
Discord: Atom Protocol